Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce puts local economic growth in perspective
Chair of the Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce, Liz Koh, warns that despite the recently released Annual Economic Profile showing relatively strong economic growth for Kapiti, there is cause for concern. “While the District’s performance was considerably better than for the Wellington region as a whole, this is largely due to increased activity in the construction sector, and reflects a number of one-off projects such as the Expressway, developments at the airport, the Ryman retirement village and Council infrastructure projects” says Ms Koh.
“We need to be mindful that when we look at the underlying performance of the Kapiti economy, the same old issues remain. We continue to lack diversity in our local economy, with heavy reliance on the construction and retail sectors. Our businesses, with an average of 2.4 employees, are much smaller than average businesses across the region, we have a high percentage of self-employed people, we are well behind the region in terms of the number of skilled jobs available locally and we continue to lose young people from our region. There is a real danger that Kapiti could again experience a boom-bust cycle if we don’t address these issues.”
The Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce is adamant that the Long Term Plan proposed by Kapiti Coast District Council should retain at least the current level of funding for economic development and that ideally this funding should be increased. “It is imperative that we put in place strategies for growth and employment to avoid boom-bust cycles and these need to be adequately resourced” says Ms Koh.
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